Miracle Moments Miracle Moments In Work Life


HE MISSION SERVICES Community Outreach office frequently receives calls from the community and from Associates who are in need of information on how to access social services. One day we were contacted by a woman named Maria, who worked in the Housekeeping Department of our hospital. She wanted our help in obtaining a leg prosthesis for her husband, Juan.

Juan, age 62, had lost a limb in July 2002, due to an infection as a complication of his diabetes. He previously worked mowing lawns and was no longer able to do so.

He moved about with crutches, but he so wanted to have a prosthesis so that he could walk and work again. Juan and Maria were also raising two grandchildren, and their resources were limited. Juan was too young to qualify for Medicare, and his present health care coverage would not cover a prosthesis that cost thousands of dollars.

I met with Maria and felt there had to be some way to help her husband. He was feeling so helpless and was so unhappy with his inability to work and to move about.

After contacting numerous agencies in the community and across several states, I found an organization called Limbs for Life in Oklahoma City, a nonprofit agency that provides financial assistance to people in need of a prosthesis. Although the agency has limited financial resources, it does provide some help for those in need.

Juan met the qualifications to receive a small amount of financial assistance to purchase the prosthesis. We knew we would still need a lot more money to make his dream a reality, however. One question on the application asks what the applicant would like to do that he or she cannot presently do. Juan stated that he prayed to be able to walk on his own with his grandchildren and to be able to mow lawns again.

I then called local brace and limb companies for pricing information and possible additional financial assistance. After crossing many hurdles, I spoke with a prosthetist with NASA Brace and Limb, who listened to my story and decided to get approval from his employer to help Juan. The prosthetist made home visits to check on Juan in order to make certain that he could be properly fitted for the device. It was during these visits that he saw how much Maria and Juan needed his help. During the weeks and months that it took to finalize the request, we all prayed. In the end, the prosthetist was able to fit Juan by accepting only the financial assistance that Limbs for Life would provide. There would be no cost to Juan and his family.

Needless to say, we were all thrilled with the outcome. Maria called to tell me that Juan now had his new “leg,” and that he would stop by and show me how he could walk again very soon.

Sarah Deacon, RN
CHRISTUS St. John Hospital
Nassau Bay, Texas